28 July 2005
Aston Martin's new Porsche-rivalling small car, the V8 Vantage, has made an early bid to become the star of this year's Australian International Motor Show.
Show organisers have confirmed that the stunning two-seater coupe will make its Asia-Pacific debut at the Sydney exhibition on 13 October, heading what's expected to be a long list of new production cars and concept vehicles.
It will be the Aston Martin marque's first appearance at the Darling Harbour show in a decade.
The V8 Vantage takes the ultra-exclusive British car company into new and relatively inexpensive territory - to be priced from $236,000, it will open up a whole new market segment for the brand.
"The Vantage is a significant car for us because it takes Aston Martin into a new sector of the market, while retaining the hand-built bespoke attributes for which the brand is renowned," said Aston Martin's New South Wales importer, Rod Cullen.
While the bigger Aston Martin Vanquish and DB9 models are both powered by V12 engines, the Vantage boasts an all-new 4.3 litre quad-cam V8 producing 288 kW.
Extensive use of a high-tech aluminium backbone - glued and riveted together, then clothed in a body comprising aluminium, steel and racing-car style composite plastic materials - has kept the car's weight down.
The interior is a combination of the traditional and high-tech, including organic electro-luminescent (OEL) instrument displays.
The front-mid mounting of the engine and rear-mounted transaxle give the car a 49:51 front/rear weight distribution - considered ideal for sport car handling.
Australian International Motor Show organisers say the V8 Vantage is likely to precede several other exotic sports car debutants at the event.
"We're confident of several major new model announcements in the coming weeks as the automotive industry positions itself to meet the current record demand for new motor vehicles in Australia," said the Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, Peter Sturrock.
Topping the list of new Australian models at the show will be the much-anticipated unveiling of Mitsubishi's new large family car, the 380.
Almost 270,000 people attended last year's motor show, making it the largest public exhibition in New South Wales after the Royal Easter Show.
The Australian International Motor Show will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and open to the public from 14 to 23 October.
Details of opening times and admission prices are available at www.australianmotorshow.com.
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